I like the look of how this is going, I'm enjoying it! Anyway it will probably be up before Christmas, probably way before it, but, I'm looking forward to it all being up all the same. Speaking of which, can anyone guess who Marley's ghost is? I'll give you a clue; technically, it's not Marley's ghost. I think I've made it pretty obvious, but hey, that's just me.

Also, I've decided on the ghosts of Christmas, except the ghost of Christmas present. I'm a bit stuck for choice between 2 characters. Leave what you think in the review, and also, I really want to say this before we go on with the story, I realised that I was turning in to one of those people who went on every chapter about asking for reviews, I really don't want to make a bad first impression, so I'm sorry if it felt like I was bugging you for it, and you were all like, "Oh here we go again, another attention-seeker", totally not the case, really sorry, it's totally your choice what you do and don't do when you read these things, so I'll leave it alone from now on. But yeah, soooooo.

Read if you want, and look forward to Christmas! (Oh and by the way, when this chapter changes to Shadows point of view, it gets a little more Sinister (Which probably wasn't a good idea because I write these things between 4 and 9PM XD)) Also, Longest Chapter! Mind you it is only the second Chapter, but who cares!? I'm proud of myself!

Also, Chapter name really only applies to last little bit, Sorry for any inconvenience caused!, couldn't think of a better chapter name, got a better idea? Leave (If you want! ^) a better name and I'll change it!

Finally, Thanks for reading this all those people out there, really appreciated!

(Long authors note, sorry!, had to get it all across before we went any further!, XD)

Chapter 2:- Return of a Friend

"Dong!".

The clock struck seven at last after what felt like hours.

Shadow and Tails looked up, their expressions were quite the opposite. Tails wore a face of pure delight and joy, while Shadow just groaned and looked as if he had been told he'd been given twice as much to do in one day.

Tails turned to Shadow, and his expression changed suddenly. Shadow sat in his stool with not anger on his face, no, but disappointment. Pure, utter, and full frontal disappointment. But with what? Not Tails surely?

Tails slowly rose from his chair, not taking his eyes off Shadow. "So you'll be off all day tomorrow?", Shadow voice said. His head was buried on the table in front of him. Was he tired? He couldn't have been, he was the ultimate life form, he didn't get, "Tired".

Tails swallowed, he was terrified of Shadow's quick temper these days, it escalated far too quickly. "Well...er...um...Yeah, I was planning too, why?", he asked Shadow, he had meant the Why part as a joke, but he never actually anticipated that Shadow would answer.

"Just wondering how much I'd have to do on my own tomorrow", he said getting up, glaring at Tails, and walked over to the door. Tails expected to have guilt flow through him, but then he remembered, he'd wanted to leave since day 2, ever since Shadow went mental with the blowtorch when Tails had told him he was late because of the opening of the advent calendar with Ray. Tails shuddered at the memory, then ran to open the door for Shadow.

"I don't care what you're doing tomorrow, just make sure that you're here twice as early on Boxing day", Shadow grumbled putting on his jet-black jacket, "If we carry on our current path, we should be finished by...", he looked back at the unfinished machinery, "New years eve I think, not that I care", he muttered at the last part.

"Whatever you say Shadow", groaned Tails rolling his eyes. Tails unlatched the door, and it opened with a creak, the wind had certainly died down since Sonic had arrived an hour earlier, but it was still bitterly cold, and was snowing calmly, the snowflakes swaying slightly in the air. Shadow shivered, and then muttered something under his breath, something about thermal insulating as far as Tails could make out, then he put his hands in his jacket pockets, and stepped out of the door. Tails followed suit, and shut the door behind him.

Tails locked the door, and gave it a solid thud to make sure it was properly shut. He turned to Shadow, who had one hand out of his pocket holding out in front of him, palm facing up. His body was half facing away, and his eyes were open as they always were, apparently oblivious to the montage of falling snow.

Tails put the keys the keys in his palm, and Shadow took his hand away somewhat aggressively. He looked at Tails for a second before, putting his hand back in his pocket, turned away slowly, and started walking down the street.

Tails watched intently until the fog had enveloped Shadow's figure. It had disappeared. A grin crawled its way onto Tails' face. He tightened his scarf, then turned around, and flew the opposite way to Shadow. His feet skimming the ground, and his tails kicked up snow like a reverse snowplough.

He made his way to the end of the street, and screeched to a halt. Old ally way had become completely encased in ice. Most of the people Tails knew slid down it, putting all of their strength into not falling over. Espio and Vector were at the bottom of the slope on the pavement, Espio cheering them on, and encouraging those too scared to ride, and Vector was taking pictures of each person who went down, trying to sell each photo for 5 bucks, (Which to his dismay, didn't work very well).

"Espio! Vec!", Tails called up from the top of the street. Espio and Vector looked up, smiled, and cheered for Tails to go down. All the others at the top waiting to go dared him to as well. Tails hesitated, then smiled, and nodded. A roar of approval came from the crowd. Tails took a few steps back, and made a run up. He jumped when he reached it and landed on the icy slope, his momentum carried him down extremely fast, and his propeller tails made him go even faster, he whooshed past the line of kids, going so fast he blew some of their hats off. He made it to the bottom, and grabbed hold of the lamppost to his right, spinning round, lifting him off the ice. Espio quickly jumped out of the way, and left Vector as the target.

As for what happened next, well, let's just say that Vectors black eye won't be going down anytime soon.

(Shadow Time!)

Shadow heard the roar of laughter and happiness from half a mile away. He grumbled and continued on his way. "Christmas", he said to himself quietly, "What is the point!". He looked all around him. The snow was still falling. He breathed heavily; the mist from his breath formed, then disappeared just as quickly.

He turned a corner at the end of the street. He was now in the most deserted part of the city. It was amazing how the setting had changed in the last few seconds, but Shadow didn't care, frankly, he couldn't be bothered to care or notice. But whereas the past street had been lined and pasted with festive decorations. Nothing. Absolutely nothing. It was darker than the rest of the city, with clouds constantly looming over it, the only light it received, a few small street lamps dating back to god knows when, flickering slightly, already dim from age.

A sign held by one nail creaked in what remained of the wind. "Carol Street", it read, almost unreadable through its grime and filth. Shadow trudged through the street that outlined the border of the city. He pushed his hands further into his pockets and kept going. Emerging from the mist, a large black, rusting gate appeared. Shadow threw it open, then shut it with a clang. The echo vibrated around the eerily quiet street multiple times. Shadow hesitated, then turned and walked up the path to the mansion. But something...Bothered, him. He had walked up and down this pathway and street for 3 years now, and he had lived in the mansion for the same amount of time, the mansion that appeared to be older than time itself, let alone the fact that it looked haunted. But not once had he ever been disturbed by the trip until tonight. The question was...Why?

Shadow made his way to the front door and stepped onto the porch. He took the keys out of his pocket, and started fumbling with them to find the key that would fit the 7 foot high door.

"Shadow..."

Shadow perked up, he looked over his shoulder. Nothing there. He shrugged, and continued to look for the key.

"Shadow..."

Shadow swung around and looked frantically over the porch and front walkway. Still nothing. Shadow swallowed, but didn't turn around. At last he found the key, but then, he froze.

"Shaaaaaaadoooooow...", the voice was female, young, and was a sinister whisper...

Right. Beside. His, ear.

Shadow, shaking unnoticeably but uncontrollably, turned around slowly.

Nothing.

He exhaled slowly, put the key in the lock, and turned. Once the door was open, he slammed the door hard. Once again, the echo vibrated around, the foyer more sinister than usual. He flicked the light switch.

"Click". No light.

"Click". Still no light.

"Great", Shadow growled, "Just what I needed".

Power-cuts weren't unusual in this part of the city, but why now of all times? Why when Shadow wanted light the most?

He fumbled his way along the wall until he hit the banister. He began making his way up the long flight of stairs, each stair creaking under his weight. He shivered, not with fear, but with coldness. He could see the mist of his breath in front of him when he breathed out, which, (Unfortunately for Shadow), was the only thing he could see in front of him.

A large crash came from the basement. Shadow, alarmed, looked in (What he thought was) the direction of the basement door.

Silence.

"Just one of the crates", he said to himself quietly, "Just one of the crates". But he couldn't shake the feeling that it probably wasn't.

After what felt like hours, Shadow finally made it to the top of the stairs. He made a dash for his room, unlatched the door, threw himself inside, and locked the door on all of its locks. He then locked his window on the far side of the room, pulling the blind down as well. He then hastily made his way to the storage room, which was connected to his room, and locked that fully as well.

Completely locked in.

Shadow breathed a sigh of relief. He quickly moved over to the fireplace, took the box of matches, and struck one, lighting as many candles as he could find, as well as the fireplace.

Sweet, jovial light filled the room, and Shadow slumped into his chair that sat next to the fireplace. He warmed himself up for a bit, before taking off and hanging up his jacket. He sat back down next to the fire. He felt...tired. Or at least that's how he thought he felt. He hardly ever slept since he didn't need sleep, it was a rare thing for him to do. Another reason why he didn't care how long him and Tails worked for.

He sat by the fire for hours, thinking, he knew that voice from somewhere, but where? He forced himself not to think about it anymore, for his experience had made him uncomfortable. His eyes drifted towards the cupboard opposite the fireplace. He stood up, and wandered over to it. He opened both doors. Hardly anything in there except from a spare pair of his iconic hover shoes, a tattered pair of gloves from long ago, and a dressing gown, and night-cap. He looked intently at the bed-wear for a while, but then he swatted the idea aside. He wouldn't be humiliated by wearing that thing.

He was about to shut the doors, when the opposite side of his conscious spoke to him. He was cold, physically and mentally exhausted, and...dare he say it? Scared? He growled at himself, for thinking such a remark, but then opened the cupboard doors again. Not even a speck of dust on them. Pure white. Never worn before. Shadow cocked his head slightly and sighed through his nose, no-one was going to know he was wearing it anyway. No-one. Right?

Shadow sat in the chair staring into the fireplace. The clothes were comfortable and as smooth as silk. He hated to admit it, but he actually liked them. Not that anyone would ever know that.

He smirked at the thought. But his rare smile was shot down like a fighter plane.

"Btttz...Bttz Bttz, BTTTTZ, Bttz". He looked up above him. The light was flickering slightly. He frowned. He looked over at the light switch on the wall. Off. He hadn't even touched it when he came in. He frowned even more.

"Dong!".

The grandfather clock in the corner of the room struck loudly for it being midnight. Shadow gripped the arms of the chair in surprise and spun around quickly to look at it. It continued to strike though, faster and faster, way past eleven times, it got louder and louder.

Shadow covered his ears and squeezed his eyes shut. Surely someone would be able to hear this.

The screech was now deafening. Shadow mustered up all of his strength, stood up quickly with his eyes still shut, head pointing towards the ceiling, fists clenched, and roared, "ENOOOOOOUGH!".

As quickly as it had started, the clock ceased.

Shadow looked around breathing heavily, most people would have said he looked angry, but oh no, he felt something extremely different to anger.

He flopped back into the chair, and with one elbow on the armrest, and his hand on his forehead, staring at nothing in particular, he tried to compromise what had just happened within the last few hours.

Another crash from the basement. This time though, louder, nearer, and bigger. Shadow clenched the sides of the chair. The first step creaked loudly from downstairs. Shadow didn't move a muscle, his eyes were almost permanently fixed on the door, with no chance of taking them away any time soon.

The fifth stair eventually creaked. Shadow didn't know what to think at all. He sat in the chair...waiting...just, waiting.

After ten minutes of psychological torture, the 30th stair creaked. Then, footsteps started towards the door. They got closer and closer, before they stopped right outside. Shadow, making the smallest amount of noise possible, stood up slowly, and reached for his left inhibitor ring. No sooner had it made the tiniest inaudible, "Click", the door flew off its hinges with an incredible crash, the locks shattering completely, and the force of the blast sending Shadow flying back off of his feet, and slamming into the chair, which slid all the way across the room, and crashed into the opposite wall with a jolting thud.

Shadow coughed violently as the dust settled, it masked the entrance to the room from view. But then the dust slowly cleared. Shadow coughed once more, and rubbed his eyes to make sure nothing had gotten in them. He then slowly opened his eyes and looked at the remaining door-frame.

He froze.

He took a deep inhale of what was left of the clean oxygen in the room, and let it back out again with a shaking exhale.

He knew he had known that voice. Why hadn't he remembered?

He gripped the arms of the chair, his eyes still fixated on the doorway. His body had seized up completely.

For standing in the wrecked doorframe, of the master bedroom in this mansion...

Was the pale, blue, apparition...

Of Maria Robotnik.

Wellllll...What do ya think? Talk about Cliff-hangers! I do realise that some people may disagree with my choice of, "Marley's Ghost", but I felt I had to be a little more original in my choice instead of using Eggman like other telling of this story do. Oh well, I personally think it's quite a nice plot twist, and a nice change for once, but anyway...

Also, Chapter 3 will be much shorter than this one, I can tell you that, because Chapter 4 will see the arrival of the first of the three spirits, but we'll worry about that when it comes to it shall we?

And so, (And hopefully anyway), the fight for the finishing of Chapter 3 begins!